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GFOA Newsletter
January 28, 2016
EMPLOYMENT ADS  |  TRAINING  |  BEST PRACTICES
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Executive Board Approves Best Practices

GFOA best practices identify specific policies and procedures to improve government management. On January 22, 2016, the Executive Board approved five best practices and an advisory, providing guidance on safeguarding against double counting and about adopting a formal capital budget as part of the annual or biennial budget process. Addressing retirement benefit issues, the board approved best practices on measuring and reporting pension and OPEB costs; ensuring OPEB sustainability by evaluating key related items; and explaining the risks associated with issuing OPEB bonds. Addressing governments’ governments’ efforts at enhancing internal control, GFOA focused on the control environment. Another best practice sheds light on enhancing tax abatement transparency.

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Association News
Sign up Today to Take Advantage of an Early Registration Discount on GFOA’s Annual Conference

Register today – January 28, 2016 – to save on GFOA’s 110th Annual Conference, Sharing Solutions and Strategies, May 22–25, 2016, at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Go to GFOA’s website and click on the “Annual Conference” tab to register for the conference and access the brochure, reserve your housing online through GFOA’s official hotel block, and sign up for tours. Conference session descriptions are posted here. Earn more than 20 CPE credits with your participation.

Apply for a First-Time Conference Attendee Scholarship

If you are a first-time annual conference attendee who is a GFOA active (government) member, we encourage you to apply for an annual conference scholarship in the amount of the full-conference registration fee. Fifty scholarships will be awarded per state or province in the order the applications are received. If you are interested in applying for a scholarship, please e-mail First Annual Conference.

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Remember!

Passports. All delegates traveling to Toronto from the United States will need a passport. Please plan ahead; obtaining a passport can take approximately 4-6 weeks.
     Information on applying for or renewing a passport
     Information for first-time passport application

Driving to Toronto. To reenter the United States, citizens need a U.S. passport, passport card, enhanced driver’s license, Trusted Traveler Program card (Nexus, Sentri, Fast), U.S. Military ID card (when on official orders), U.S. merchant mariner document (when traveling in conjunction with official maritime business), or form I-872 American Indian Card. Click here for more information.

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Don’t Miss This Year’s Preconference Seminars

Participate in GFOA’s preconference seminars, held Friday, May 20, and Saturday, May 21, in Toronto. Earn additional CPE credits with your participation in sessions such as Internal Control and Technology (Friday, May 20, 1 to 5 p.m., 4 CPE Credits):

In recent years, governments have dramatically increased the automation and integration of their business processes and application controls as a result of the widespread move to modern ERP systems, including the use of many hosted or “cloud” applications. These developments have created significant internal control challenges that COSO, the authoritative standard-setting body for internal control, sought to address in its recently revised and expanded guidelines. The revised COSO guidelines place special emphasis on the need for organizations to update their framework of internal control (policies, procedures, business processes, etc.) in order to manage the risks created by new ways in which organizations are using their information technology applications. This preconference seminar will examine the most significant risks associated with the latest applications of information technology and provide participants practical guidance on how to avoid or mitigate those risks.

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Register for Preconference Seminars.
Help Us Preserve the Tax Exemption on Municipal Bond Interest

As Congress and the White House return to discussions on comprehensive federal tax reform in 2016, GFOA is urging our members to help engage federal lawmakers regarding the need to preserve the tax exemption on municipal bond interest. In addition to the resources already available for your use on our federal government relations page, GFOA is urging members to sign their jurisdictions onto this letter to the leaders of the House and Senate tax writing committees, expressing support for the tax exemption. Beyond GFOA’s membership, the letter is also being distributed by our colleagues at the National League of Cities, U.S. Conference of Mayors, National Association of Counties, and the National Association of State Treasurers. Our aim is to secure the support of hundreds of jurisdictions on this letter to demonstrate to Congress the immense support for this provision of the tax code. Jurisdictions that are interested in signing on should contact Emma Heydlauff (Emma@statetreasurers.org) by February 15.

 

GFOA Training Courses Coming to Seattle in April

Plan your spring training schedule now and register for GFOA’s training seminars, April 4−8, 2016, in Seattle, Washington. Register by March 4, 2016, to save 10% on the registration fee.

Join us for one or more of the following courses:

If you register with three or more colleagues for the same seminar, you will receive 10% off on each registration fee. (To receive this discount, please mail, fax, or scan and e-mail your registration forms and payments together. This discount cannot be applied when registering online.) Submit the training registration form or sign up online using GFOA’s e-store.

A block of rooms has been reserved for the GFOA attendees at the Seattle Hilton. Take advantage of the negotiated group rate until March 4, 2016. Click here for hotel information. For information on what to do while in Seattle, go to Visit Seattle. If you have any questions on the training, contact GFOA.

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More GFOA Training Sessions.
Submit Publication Orders by January 31 and Save

Receive a discount of 20.16% on all GFOA publication orders submitted by January 31. Go to GFOA’s publication webpage to check out our “must-own” publications, Governmental Accounting, Auditing, and Financial Reporting (GAAFR), GAAFR Supplement, and GFOA’s popular Elected Official’s Guides (recent releases include An Elected Official’s Guide: Internal Control).

Download the publication titles listing and mail or fax the enclosed order form to the GFOA, or scan and e-mail the order form to GFOA Publications. Enter the promotional code GFOA2016 on the order form. (This offer expires on January 31, 2016. The discount cannot be applied when ordering online using GFOA’s e-store. Offer applies to new publication orders only and cannot be combined with any other discount.)

For more information on GFOA’s publications, contact GFOA.

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Jurisdictions Win Distinguished Budget Presentation Award for First Time

The following jurisdictions are first-time winners of GFOA’s Distinguished Budget Presentation Award: City of Delano, California; City of Pismo Beach, California; City of Kingsburg, California; City of Sebastopol, California; City of DeKalb, Illinois; Town of Longmeadow, Massachusetts; Town of Kingston Springs, Tennessee; City of Breckenridge, Texas; and Brian Head Town, Utah.

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News Links
Governments Use Tech to Provide Information on Demand

Local governments are providing streamlined processes and government information digitally to their citizens 24-7, on-demand. In Lexington, Kentucky, for instance, residents receive updates on anything from new construction in their neighborhoods to changes in their leaf collection schedule via the city’s opt-in notification platform, CityGram.

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Pressed for Funds, Small Towns Consider Giving Up Local Control

At a time of rising municipal costs, local governments around the country are looking for ways to rein in tax bills, pursuing privatization, the consolidation of services, mergers and even bankruptcy. Carey Plantation, a small town in Maine, is considering dissolving the local government and joining the Unorganized Territory.

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States Relying Even Less on Corporate Income Taxes

Corporate income taxes are a slow-growing source of revenue in most states, and a small slice of the total budget. One way to gauge corporate taxes is to compare them to what states are collecting from tax returns filed by individuals. Of the 43 states with income taxes, individual income tax collection growth (measured as a percentage change) has outpaced corporate tax revenues in 31 states since 1990.

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Editor: Marcy Boggs  |  Executive Director/CEO: Jeffrey Esser

The GFOA Newsletter (ISSN 1051-6964) is published weekly by
the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada.
Correspondence regarding editorial and/or business matters should be sent to
GFOA, 203 N. LaSalle St., Suite 2700, Chicago, IL 60601-1210. Phone - 312/977-9700 FAX - 312/977-4806.

 


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